– General Information –
Born February 1st, 1977 in California and moving soon after to Roselle, New Jersey, Phil Ivey is an American poker player who now lives in Las Vegas.
He’s the youngest player ever to win ten WSOP bracelets. In addition, he’s appeared at nine World Poker Tour final tables and won one World Poker Tour title.
He’s also considered the biggest online cash game winner of all time, having won $19.2 million on the now defunct site Full Tilt, according to the online high stakes cash game database.
Ivey has also appeared on classic poker TV shows such as Poker After Dark on NBC or High Stakes Poker on The Game Show Network regularly.
As the WSOP record holder for most mixed-game bracelets, he’s been called, variously, “No Home Jerome,” “The Phenom,” and “The Tiger Woods of Poker.” He’s known for successfully throwing his opponents off their game by staring directly into their eyes.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2000: He becomes the 1st to defeat Amarillo Slim heads-up at a WSOP final table to win his 1st bracelet in the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event for $195,000.
- 2002: He wins 3 gold bracelets at the World Series.
- 2014: He wins the A$250,000 NLHE challenge event at the Aussie Millions for $3.583 million. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
- 2014: He wins his 10th WSOP gold bracelet after finishing first in the $1,500 8-Game Mix event for $166,986.
- 2017: He gets inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
- 2020: He settles his lengthy legal battle about his edge sorting case against the Borgata Casino.
– Phil Ivey’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Ivey began playing poker when he was only eight years old. His grandfather taught him how to play 5-Card Stud with a small wager on the game, usually no more than five cents. As a teenager, he created a fake ID to get into the casinos in Atlantic City. This earned him his first nickname: No Home Jerome.
In the late 90s, Ivey played against his co-workers at the telemarketing firm where he worked. When he went pro at age 20, Negreanu and Greenstein considered him to be a fish because they thought he played too many hands and too loose. Nevertheless, they are now all close friends.
→ Live Tournaments ←
As the 11th most winning poker player in tournaments, Ivey has accumulated over $30.3 million in live tournament winnings over the course of his long career.
→ World Series of Poker Bracelets ←
|2000||$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha||$195,000|
|2002||$2,500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo||$118,440|
|2002||$1,500 7 Card Stud||$132,000|
|2005||$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha||$635,603|
|2009||$2,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball||$96,367|
|2009||$2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo + 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo||$220,538|
|2013||$2,200 Mixed Event||$51,840|
|2014||$1,500 Eight Game Mix||$166,986|
His public appearances were few between 2016 and 2018 when his legal disputes over edge sorting were reaching their conclusion. Other than a short appearance at the WSOP in 2016, he was barely visible that year.
However, good news came in October 2017, when Phil Ivey announced during an interview with Somuchpoker in Beijing that he would soon be back in the game.
→ World Poker Tour ←
In the twelve times that he’s competed in the WPT, he made it to the final table nine times, winning a $10K event in Los Angeles in 2008 for a total prize of $1,596,100.
→ Other Tournaments ←
- At the Monte Carlo Millions tournament in November 2005, Ivey won the first prize of $1,000,000. Then, later that month, he finished first at the FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational Live from Monte Carlo event the next day, taking home another $600,000.
- At NBC’s Poker After Dark winner-take-all “Earphones Please” tournament on January 22, 2007, Ivey won the $120,000 first prize.
- At the Aussie Millions $250,000 High-roller event on January 29, 2012, Ivey defeated Patrik Antonius heads-up for a prize of AU$2,000,000.
- At the Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge for AU$4,000,000 on February 10, 2014, Ivey won AU$4,000,000, which was the largest single cash of his career.
- At the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge in February 2015, he won again; this time for AU$2,205,000.
- At the World Poker Tour National (WPTN) in the Philippines in 2016, Phil won a cash prize of $656,500 when he came in 5th.
- The Triton Super High Roller Series have also been an interesting event for Ivey, with a 1st and a 3rd place finish only a few days apart in May 2018 in Montenegro for a combined $ 2.2 million.
- Finally, when visiting the partypoker Millions in Sochi in 2020, Ivey racked up three cashes: a 7th and a 2nd place finish and a win for a total of $1.5 million
→ Live Cash Games ←
For over 15 years, Ivey has been winning some of planet’s biggest poker games. He’s a regular in Bobby’s Room (recently renamed Legends Room) at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, often participating in the $4,000/$8,000 mixed cash games (typically referred to as the Big Game).
In addition, he was a critical player with “the Corporation” a team of high stakes professionals who joined forces (bankrolls) to take on Andy Beal, a math genius and American billionaire banker, at a series of heads-up Limit Hold’em cash games for enormous sums of money. When the Corporation was down $10M to Beal in February 2006, Ivey stepped up his game, winning $16.6M from the Texan over three days during a heads-up match at the Wynn Resort. The stakes were $25,000/$50,000 and $50,000/$100,000. This was a sweet revenge after Beal had beaten The Corporation out of $13M earlier that month.
Ivey also appeared on the two classic poker TV shows Poker After Dark on NBC and High Stakes Poker on The Game Show Network, where he played $200/$400 and $300/$600 NLHE cash games, respectively.
According to rumors, Ivey’s taken some significant sums of cash from Chinese businessmen who he’s been playing against in high stakes cash games in Macau since 2010. He spent late 2015 and early 2016 playing some big cash games in Manila.
He also appeared in some of the super high stakes livestreamed cash games put on by Triton Poker.
→ Online Poker ←
Before 2011, Ivey was the biggest online cash game winner ever. He earned a total of $19,242,743 from 2007 to 2011 playing cash games on Full Tilt Poker. According to HighStakesDB.com, Ivey won $1.99 million on FullTilt in 2007, $7.34 million in 2008, $6.33 million in 2009, and $3 million in 2010.
After 2011, Ivey has had a less-than-stellar record. Using the screen name “Polarizing” on Full Tilt Poker, Ivey appears to be down $6,317,217 in a 217,170-hand sample played from December 2012 to August 2015, and using the name “RaiseOnce” on Pokerstars, he appears to be at a $6,317,217 loss after 217,170 hands played during the same period.
→ Sponsorship Deals ←
Until April 2011, Ivey received $920,000 per month for his collaboration with Full Tilt Poker, where he was a member of the original design team. After Black Friday, he filed a lawsuit against Tiltware LLC, the company that operates Full Tilt Poker, in order to help recover funds lost by US players due to the company’s actions. He even sat out the 2011 WSOP in recognition of the players who lost money because of Full Tilt. When the company reopened, he began playing under the username Polarizing.
→ Scandals ←
The casino responded by saying that they refused to pay him and because he and his playing partner, Cheung Yin “
. Although he lost the court case, he appealed to the court with the highest jurisdiction in the country, the UK supreme court, who stated in late 2017 that Ivey’s actions were indeed considered as cheating.
In 2014, Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa already filed a $9.6M lawsuit against Ivey over cheating (edge-sorting again), claiming that he exploited playing cards’ manufacturing flaws over four sessions in 2012. Borgata went on to win the case and a US court ordered Ivey to repay a total of over $10M. The casino sought to seize these funds in New Jersey but found nothing of value. They subsequently applied to seize assets in Nevada in early 2019 and their request was approved. Few assets were found in Nevada either and so, during the 2019 WSOP, Borgata’s lawyers took things further.
Phil Ivey was leading the $50K Poker Player’s Championship overnight, but the following day he lost his chips very quickly and busted in 8th place. It transpired that during his final day of play, Borgata had been able to gain approval to seize from WSOP any prize money Ivey won, along with any potential bracelet before they ever reached his hands. His $124,410 prize was confiscated, and his future attendance at the WSOP was thrown into question.
In July 2020, Ivey at long last settled his grueling legal case against Borgata.
– Phil Ivey’s Private Life –
→ Love Life ←
Having met his wife when he was 17, Ivey married his high school sweetheart, Luciaetta, at the Little White Wedding Chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas on May 19, 2002. They moved to Las Vegas in 2004, where she started to play micro stakes poker. Ivey used to joke that he would return home after losing hundreds of thousands of dollars only to find himself consoling his wife for losing seventy-five cents.
After being married for seven years, Phil and Luciaetta Ivey filed a joint petition for divorce. David Chesnoff, a high-profile divorce attorney and, reportedly, also a great poker player in his free time, represented Ivey, and the divorce was granted on December 29, 2009.
Although his ex-wife Luciaetta received $180,000 per month in alimony from her husband’s Tiltware payments, she claimed the settlement was not fair because “Phil enjoyed the remaining approximately $740,000,” and she tried repeatedly to open the case. Nevertheless, the case remains closed.
Now going by the name of Luciaetta Rich and living in in a 3722 square feet mansion (345sqm) in Tampa Bay, Florida, she seems to have moved beyond requiring the assistance of Ivey’s alimony payments.
Currently, Ivey is enjoying a long-term relationship with his girlfriend Nellie Garcia, an IFBB (International Federation of Body Building and Fitness) bikini participant and Crossfit competitor since 2012. The couple has been together since 2013, but the public didn’t find out until Garcia posted photos on Instagram while at Phil’s house in Cabo, Mexico. The photos showed the couple visiting with some kids at an elementary school in Vosloorus, South Africa, where they’d been distributing school supplies. Later, she joined him at events in Macau, Las Vegas, and London.
→ Business ←
Ivey has founded two companies, both based on poker. The first is Ivey Poker. This is a “play for free” poker app that was established in 2012 to allow users to compete against pros like Ivey. The second is Ivey League, which is a poker training site founded in 2014, which shut down in 2017.
Additionally, Phil Ivey was asked to make a cameo appearance in a commercial for the 2015 Chrysler 300. He also released a poker course for the premier online education platform Masterclass in 2019.
→ Net Worth ←
In September 2019, an interesting story emerged when Daniel Cates and Illya Trincher filed a legal objection to Borgata’s seizure of Ivey’s WSOP Poker Player’s Championship winnings. They claimed that they had a staking deal, which involved paying 100% of Ivey’s buy in, and as such, a significant portion of his winnings belonged to them. The only realistic reason Phil Ivey would sell 100% of his action is that he has run out of money.
According to celebritynetworth.com, he is worth $100M but these recent developments suggest this figure could in fact be $0.
→ Hobbies & Personal Life ←
Ivey is an avid sports fan. He’s particularly fond of the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Buffalo Bills, and he’s regularly seen wearing basketball jerseys representing a variety of teams. When he’s not working or watching sports, Ivey enjoys playing video games, prop betting, and golf. He even finished third place in the inaugural World Series of Golf.
Phil is also friends with some EDM artists, such as Steve Aoki.
In addition, Ivey is an active philanthropist, giving money to many charitable causes. For instance, he donated $50,000 to Empowered 2 Excel in March 2008. This organization focuses on supporting and providing opportunities for underprivileged children. He also worked with his mother to found the Budding Ivey Foundation to honor his deceased grandfather, Leonard “Bud” Simmons, who taught him to play poker as a child. Bud always told his grandson that every person, just one person, can make a difference, and through the organization, Ivey is proving his grandfather’s words to be true today.
– Phil Ivey on Social Media –